Directed by The Pang Brothers.
Written by The Pang Brothers.
Starring Pawalit Mongkolpisit.
Release Year: 1999
Review Date: 10/21/01
I was going to catch one of the higher
profile movies that came out this weekend first, but then I decided
I would go "artsy" and see a foreign film. As many of you know,
most of the foreign films I see are either Spanish or of some Asian
descent, so "Bangkok: Dangerous" fit the bill.
I am writing this review knowing that this
film is not available in all markets, so sit back and relax, cause
you might learn something! This film came out last year abroad and
was released here just now, but you can see why it was brought here
based on the strength of the stylistic direction of two men who are
simply credited as "The Pang Brothers." (One of the producers was
credited as "Uncle", leading me to believe that I need to go ahead
and change my name to "Lucious Stone" before somebody else takes
it!) The film follows the movements of a deaf mute hitman named
Kong that, along with his partner Joe, carries out periodical hits
on businessmen, media executives, politicians, you name it. As you
can imagine, the hitmen get set up and sold out, so after some
unfortunate double-crosses, revenge is on the minds of the "good"
guys as they try to figure out who wants them dead.
The plot is simple, I admit it. But, the
way the script deals with the life of Kong is the most interesting
part of the film. How does a deaf mute hitman live his lifestyle if
he can't hear and he can't speak? Three-fourths of the film deals
with this aspect and it is interesting to see how he pursues a
relationship with a pharmacist named Fon and works within some
strict workplace parameters like gunfire from behind. Sure, the
film is way too violent—knives are used in vicious ways in this
film—and only passing mention is made of how Kong has affected the
families of the victims he has wiped out in his line of business.
However, "Bangkok: Dangerous" seems to
aspire beyond the traditional hitman film and hits on levels that
only films as good as "The Professional" have in the past—showing us
some of the inner feelings of the guy doing the crimes and also
delivering some kickass action in short bursts throughout the
movie. If you aren't too squeamish and you can find this film,
check it out—pretty interesting stuff, and further proof that this
year at the movies won't be a total loss.
Rating: $8.25 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard